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Activities to develop fine motor skills

Sometimes fine motor activities can be very frustrating for our kids with Autism. Not only do we need to find activities that are interesting for our kids, but we also need to make sure that the activity is not too easy and not too hard. Here are some ideas of some activities to try with your child. These activities will help your child’s fine motor strength, coordination, manipulation, and motor planning abilities.

*** Please remember: If the activity involves a texture that your child has difficulty touching or interacting with, please avoid forcing your child to interact with that texture. Interaction includes touching, but also smelling or even watching other people interact with that texture. If your child has difficulty interacting with certain textures, please consult with an Occupational Therapist for more ideas on how you can help your child to interact with difficult textures without causing more tactile aversion.***

1. Doughs and clays. You can show your child how to roll, pinch, pull-apart, or make fun shapes with your dough. Make something as simple as a pancake or snake. Use kitchen tools appropriate and safe for your child, like cookie cutters, scissors, or a rolling pin.

2. Offer play with all sorts of textures and mediums. Some examples are shave cream, water, soap, beans, rice, oatmeal, or slime. Activities you can try: Use soap/shave cream to your advantage and allow your child to clean the floor or other surfaces for you. Hide puzzle pieces or other favorite toys in a bin of beans. Have some pouring and dumping toys to play in the bath tub or a sandbox.

3. Consider using vertical surfaces for drawing and painting activities. You can invest in an easel, white board, or chalkboard. Also, consider pinning up some butcher paper for big art projects.

4. Offer various shapes of art and writing utensils. You can make your own crayons into fun shapes. Break your crayons and chalk into smaller pieces. Short fat markers and crayons are occasionally offered in the arts and craft isle.

5. Have a funny snack time! Consider offering tongs, cocktail forks, toothpicks, strawberry hullers, ladles, measuring cups/spoons, or training chopsticks to make a game of eating your snack together. Whatever the activity, remember to have fun! It is only therapeutic if your child is engaged in the activity. Let your child lead the way. 

Now, time to play! 

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